Columbus-based pop rock band Twenty One Pilots is ready to take off on another national tour, but not before showing hometown fans some love with two sold-out concerts that emphasize the group’s local roots.
“(Tyler Joseph and I) would occasionally go to see a local band or see a recording artist come in and play a venue like the Newport or something and we were just like, ‘Oh man, I want to play on that stage or play the (Lifestyle Communities Pavilion),’” said Josh Dun, the drummer for Columbus-based musical duo Twenty One Pilots. “It was kind of the goal that we had or the thing that we would talk about.”
And now, that goal is about to come true — again.
Twenty One Pilots is a pop band that was originally created by Joseph, a Columbus native and the band’s singer, and two of his high school friends in 2009. The band continued to gain momentum locally after independently releasing its self-titled debut album that same year.
But two years later, two of the original members left the band — Dun, also a Columbus native and former live drummer for Christian rock band House of Heroes, joined Joseph as the second member of Twenty One Pilots in 2011.
Fast forward to 2014.
With several songs charting comfortably, three albums and multiple national and international tours under its belt, Twenty One Pilots has risen through the ranks of the Columbus music circuit to become an international name.
Yet the band’s success has not severed either musician’s ties to their hometown of Columbus. The duo is coming home to perform at the LC Pavilion on Thursday and Friday.
And the same excitement and desire to perform onstage in front of a local crowd is not only still present, but has intensified, Dun said.
“There are not a lot of cities in the world where we’ve grown in the way we have in Columbus, so it is always special for us to come back,” he said.
“We have played all over the world … (but) it is still pretty awesome and amazing to be playing two nights at the LC outdoor (venue).”
Both shows sold out within an hour of ticket sales opening, said Marissa Luther, marketing director for Promowest Productions.
“In Columbus, (that) hardly ever happens,” she said. “You see it in the bigger markets like in L.A. or in New York City, but you don’t really see it often in Columbus.”
Overwhelming displays of support like this are the defining aspects that set Columbus apart from other cities in the eyes of the band, Dun said.
“(In the beginning,) we treated Columbus like it was a very special occasion or special show that we would do,” Dun said. “We’ve played almost every type of venue in Columbus … and there are people who have come to almost every one of those (shows).”
The two concerts in Columbus will mark the beginning of Twenty One Pilots’ Quiet is Violent tour.
“It comes from a lyric in a song of ours called ‘Car Radio,’ which is one of our favorite songs to play,” Dun said of the tour’s name.
Dun said he appreciates the meaning behind this song lyric, as it encourages listeners to think about how they view the world from inside their own minds.
“It is kind of an interesting concept … When you are alone with your thoughts, it can sometimes be a dark place,” he said. “But then sometimes I think … we perform this song every night and the room is together and it is a very loud environment, so there is kind of an ironic sense about that, which I love.”
The tour is set to include more than 40 shows, according to the Twenty One Pilots website.
Quiet is Violent might be the last tour before the band begins working on new content, Dun said.
“Then the next time around, we will be performing the new songs,” he added. “I am really excited for it, and I am also excited for kind of moving onto a newer chapter of what this is and being able to create and perform some new songs.”
Liz McNeeley, a second-year in economics, said she is looking forward to seeing Twenty One Pilots live on Friday.
“I have not (seen them in concert), but I have watched a lot of their YouTube videos … they are just really energetic and they get into the crowd and they really want to get the crowd involved, which I enjoy,” she said.
McNeeley said she appreciates the deeper meaning behind many of Twenty One Pilots’ songs, including “Car Radio,” which she hopes to hear performed live on Friday.
“(The) lyrics are raw and they have meaning to them,” she said. “‘Car Radio’ is talking about how (Joseph) is trapped in his own thoughts because he no longer has his car radio to listen to and that is a terrible thing to think about … the world out there, sometimes it can make you go crazy.”
Dun said he hopes that the audience will be able to personally connect to the songs that he and Joseph perform.
“I think music saves my life. We get to talk to people a lot and get to hear peoples’ stories and connect with (them) … a lot of people kind of share that this music has maybe helped them or even saved them,” he said.
“We always say that if there is one person we were able to help — even save — then that is the most important thing for us.”
Twenty One Pilots is set to perform with Vinyl Theatre and Truslow on Thursday night.
Misterwives is scheduled to join the lineup on Friday.
Doors open at 6 p.m. on both nights.